David Wootton

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Novel Exercise Systems for Teens > Pete's Beats Musical Stepper

Pete's Beats

Pete's Beats was designed to get young people moving by appealing to their creativity and interest in music.  The device, originally inspired by Dance Dance Revolution, consists of an array of 8 foot-operated sensors whose state is integrated by a microprocessor and operates a computer program. 

Pete's Beats (2010)

The original version, consists of an octagonal wooden platform (right)housing 8 mousetrap contact switches.  The switches are monitored by an arduino microprocessor program that drives a MIDI synthesizer program to produce percussion sounds or notes.

Pete's Beats 2 (2011)

Revised for increased portability and reliability, and to provide a different incentive, the 2011 version of Pete's Beats houses a group of magnetic sensors in 8 groups in a square array.  The array is made of denim fabric, foam, and padding to make it durable, light, and foldable.  The sensors consist of magnets and unipolar Hall effect sensors, separated by a layer of foam, so that stepping on or near a magnet triggers the Halle effect sensor.  An Arduino integrates the sensor signals to drive a musical guessing game: the player has to guess a sequence of notes within a limited time.  The simple game display (on a personal computer screen) includes a not-too-scary but well-armed monster heading toward the player, and a display of which notes in the sequence are correct and which are wrong.